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I used to wonder about life.

When I was ten years old, I found myself wondering quite often, about what the whole purpose for living was. One day my older brother said to me, “Stop trying to figure it out or you’ll go crazy.” So, I took his advice – slowly. But my confusion persisted for the next eleven years, and then waned when I found Jesus Christ. Then, it returned when I later rejected Jesus, deciding to live my life without Him.

During that time, I groped my way through life, formulating my own ideas and opinions that would make me feel comfortable. Needless to say, my opinions on the purpose of life would sometimes change depending on what phase of my life I was in, or who I was with.

But one day, I went back to church. I relearned all that I had let go of (and more), and I remembered that God doesn’t operate or think the way I do. He has an ultimate purpose for us, and it doesn’t change regardless of where we’re at in life, or what we’re doing. Because God loves us, He only wants the best for us. His best. And in the end, that’s everlasting life with Him in Heaven.

Seems like a simple concept, huh? But maybe not.

Maybe not because we have to first reject our own opinions, and believe that there is an after-life. For God has said, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Then, we have to believe that that after-life has only two destinations – Heaven or hell, and depending on how we live our lives here on earth will determine which destination our soul ends up at.

Yes, I used to wonder about life until I found the answers to my questions in the Bible, God’s Holy words. Ecclesiastes Chapter 12 tells me, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

And we are told in Colossians 1:16, “… all things were created by him, and for him:”

So, in essence, we were created by God for God. That is whom we must serve through His Son Jesus Christ.

Now, once you know the meaning of your life, and what you’re supposed to be doing it won’t seem so fickle. You won’t see yourself as useless. Because you’re not. You have a purpose. You have a life to live, love to give, and a Savior to serve who’s always looking out for you.

Of course, some change on your part is going to have to take place, some surrendering of self to Jesus Christ so that He can transform you and give you the wisdom and spiritual discernment you’ll need in order to understand your role as a creation of God.

And believe this – your role is not to steal, kill, abuse, hurt, or do any of the things that cause harm to you or others. That’s a role reserved for satan and his demons.

But that’s not God’s plan for you.

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Have you ever been determined to stop some bad habit? Something that you know you shouldn’t be doing, but you’ve continued doing it anyway?

Maybe it’s behaving in a rude and attitudinal manner. Maybe it’s stealing, cheating, lying. Maybe you actively listen to somebody gossiping about someone else while you tell yourself, “I’m not the one gossiping. I’m just listening.” It could be any number of things depending on who you are.

We’ve all been there. We’ve entered into our places of employment wound up so tight that it was difficult to even say a pleasant, ‘Good morning’. At one time or another, we’ve stood in the middle of a circle, on the sidelines, or sat in a chair and passively listened while someone else dragged another person’s reputation through the mire. Then, when the destroyer of reputations was finished. We just shook our heads, and didn’t say a word. But silence does not exempt us. In fact, it’s just the opposite…our silence makes us a party to the crime.

Change is hard. I know. It has to be a learned behavior because our tendency is to snap at someone else when we’re in a bad mood. Our tendency is to pull up a chair in eager anticipation of hearing something about someone else’s character that’s worse than our own. Somehow, it makes us feel superior. We’re glad that it’s not us they’re talking about. But it will be. Next time.

Feeling superior to someone else is a deceitful form of reassurance. Because the reality is that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23

When I acknowledge my sinfulness and/or a specific sin, I go to God in prayer asking for His forgiveness. He hears me because I have an active relationship with Jesus Christ. He forgives me because I have surrendered to Jesus and have made Him the Lord and Savior of my life. The Lord strengthens me, and as he renews me my old behaviors are stripped away and new behaviors take their place. A new me emerges. One that has long since stopped taking part in any form of gossip. One that wishes to treat others with the most basic of human niceties, one that wishes to be kind and strives to be more like Christ each day.

Do you want to be more like Jesus Christ? You may be able to change some old behaviors, but you cannot – of your own strength – attain to a level of living that is pleasing to God without first surrendering your old self to Jesus Christ. You must surrender to Jesus first, and then He will lift you up!

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Are you spiritually dead?  Who are you serving?  The world?  Yourself?  (well, that’s the same as serving the world).

God says, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?  Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”  (James 4:4)

So, if the world says it’s okay to have sex before marriage, is that what you do?  If the world says you, a minor, can have an abortion without your parent’s knowledge, is that what you do if your situation calls for it?  If the world says it’s okay to smoke, drink, get high, cuss, fuss, fight and, well…pretty much anything you want to do, do you do those things even though they cause unnecessary drama in your life?

The world says no more prayer in public schools, so it becomes against the law to pray out loud in a public school.  Then, a 14 year old with a grudge comes to school, and starts shooting everybody that moves.

The world tells us to remove the Ten Commandments from the courtrooms, yet the money we spend still reads, “in God we trust”.

The Bible says, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.  For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.”  (1 Corinthians 3:19)  So, what the world says means nothing unless it is in line with what God says.

It’s ok to have peace rallies.  And it’s good to have neighborhood block watches, and meetings between police officers and concerned neighbors.  But if every word you speak does not include the power of Jesus Christ as the solution, then you are speaking in vain.

The reason the world is in the state it’s in right now is because there are so many lost, misguided, broken, and hurting souls out there.  We need Jesus Christ to fix that problem.  He is The Healer.

Think about it.  What else would make a 14-year-old come to school and start shooting just because he got suspended?  What makes a young man shoot and kill another human being simply because he wants that person’s vehicle?  What makes a mother give her 2-year-old crack cocaine, and think it’s funny?

When I was lost, I stumbled around in the darkness of my heart trying to find a way to fix my own broken soul.  And while I did not do any of the things I’ve just mentioned, I lived a life of reaction nonetheless.

I had been abandoned so I put my guard up.  I had been mistreated so I misused.  I had been neglected so I rejected.  I had been talked about so I talked about others.  I had been lied on so I lied to.  I had been cussed out so I cussed out.  I had been abused so I ran.  I had been poor so I stole.  I had been depressed so I wished for death.  And I continued my pretense of being happy.

But guess what?  All that pretending kept me SPIRITUALLY DEAD.   And then I found the way (Jesus).

Since I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I no longer live a life of reaction.  I’m no longer a victim to the downfalls of this world.  I’m a survivor.  I have – and claim – the victory!  I don’t live by the world’s standards anymore.

Jesus said, “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:” (Revelations 2:26)

I serve Christ daily, and yes, sometimes I do stumble because I am only human.  But all I have to do is remember what Jesus has done and is still doing for me.  All I have to do is believe His promise that He will never leave or forsake me.  And having faith in His words, I call on Him for strength, and He strengthens me.

If you will receive Jesus Christ into your heart, repent and ask for His forgiveness, then make Him the One you follow, obey, and trust in, He will do the same thing for you.

Stop following the world.  Don’t be an enemy to God, the One who created you.  That’s like cutting off your nose to spite your own face.  If you’re broken let God’s Son, Jesus Christ, fix you.  Follow Him and be healed, for He IS the great healer.

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Where are your treasures stored?  Are they locked behind a heavy metal vault at the bank?

Are they hidden somewhere in your home?

Maybe they’re secured away in the form of CD’s.

Maybe you wear them everyday on your fingers, wrist, and around your neck.

Maybe you put them on your feet and on your body.

Maybe you drive it everyday.

Or maybe you sit back, relax, and watch it as often as you can.

Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  Matthew 6: 19-21

It’s wonderful if you’ve been able to accumulate treasures of financial worth here on earth, but what treasures have you amassed in Heaven?  Take an inventory of your earthly and heavenly treasures.

Which one outweighs the other?

If you have more treasures stored up on earth than you do in Heaven, it’s time to re-prioritize.  Our earthly treasures will not follow us when we die, but our lack of heavenly treasures will, and by then it will be too late to make amends with the One who will judge us all.

Remember what Jesus said.  “…for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Where is your heart?  Is it with Jesus or is it completely entangled with the materialisms of this world?

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“My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.”  That’s what David said in Psalm 121:2

And it’s something we would do well to remember.  Even when it feels like God is not present…He is.  Even when it feels like we’re just out here all alone in the wilderness…we’re not if we believe, obey, and have faith. 

We can’t go by what we feel.  If we do we’ll end up believing those deceptive feelings that our enemy, satan, is working hard to instill in us. 

We must hold steadfast to God or we will not only listen to the enemy’s report of defeat, but we’ll accept it as well…forgetting all about the promises of God. 

 God’s Word tells us that, “…He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”  (1 John 4:4)  That is to say that if Jesus Christ abides in us, He is more powerful than the devil who is roaming about, wreaking havoc in this world.

Yes, at some point, we will have to encounter difficult situations in this world.  We will have to endure hard times, trials and tribulations, but God is the keeper of our souls.  Who better to trust than Him? 

That’s why, like David, I will continue to proclaim, “My help comes from the Lord.”

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I imagine a hawk is somewhat comfortable believing it is the conqueror as it captures its intended prey.  And creatures of the ground are not pacing the cement, back and forth, worrying about when and where their next meal is coming from.  No, they just do, by God-given instinct, what they are created to do.  Hunt, catch, eat, and repeat.

We were created to do something too.  We are not here by accident.  But for a lot of people it feels that way.  There are many people who don’t know why they’re here, and so it creates a kind of aloofness.  A what-does-it-matter kind of mentality.

We are told in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

So, this is why we are here – to honor and obey the One who created us.  First and foremost.  Is that all you say?  No.  But this must be the number one priority.  And it is possible to love, honor and obey God and have a fulfilling life despite those who do not think the two can go hand in hand.

We can have and pursue other desires, interest, dreams and goals as long as they do not go against the Word of God, as long as they are not causing us to behave in a way that would be displeasing to Him.

This world can be a dark, disappointing place.  And if you are trying to get through it on your own, without the power of God, without the saving grace of Jesus Christ, then your journey can become even more difficult to travel.

You DO have a purpose.  You were created to serve God.  “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”  Revelation 4:11

(“…thou hast created all things…” that includes us)

Accept your role – God’s gracious gift.  I know sometimes it doesn’t feel like a gift when you’re struggling.  When it’s an everyday problem just to survive.  When your refrigerator is empty and so are your pockets.  I know.  I’ve been there.

But if God created you for His glory, then He most certainly will not forsake you if you don’t forsake Him.  Be thankful, and start walking in the light you were meant to walk in.

Everything always looks clearer when the Son is shining on them.

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In the Bible, Jesus tells us concerning His return:

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”  Matthew 24:36

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.”  Mark 13: 32 – 33

Then, the Bible further tells us that His return will be “as a thief in the night”, and this is mentioned more than once.

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night…” 2 Peter 3:10

“For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.”  1 Thessalonians 5:2

These scriptures validate what Jesus Christ said earlier about no one knowing the day or hour.  When a thief plans to break into your home in the middle of the night, he or she doesn’t let you know in advance do they?

So, the bottom line is to be ready whenever Jesus returns.  And since no one knows when that will be, shouldn’t we be making sure our hearts are right with God right now?  Then, when Jesus returns we will have nothing to fear.  We won’t be caught off guard.  We will be ready.

Make sure your heart is right with God.  And not by your definition…but by His.

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“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground…Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace….take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one….Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”    NIV (Galatians 6:11-18)

What does this passage written thousands of years ago from the Bible mean?  How can its words still hold the sound of truth all these years later?  Because it IS the truth.  It is the Word of God.

What if you were about to take a ride on a motorcycle, and your friend told you to put on your helmet so your head would be protected in case you had an accident?  You believe in helmets, but just not for you, so you take the helmet and throw it on the back of the motorcycle.

Unfortunately, you end up in an accident, hit your head, and die.  That helmet could have saved you had you put it on.

It’s the same way with God.  It’s not enough to just believe in Him.  We must put Him on – the full armor of God – and keep Him on.  We must LIVE Him in order to be eternally protected.

Try it for yourself:

God’s Word is righteous in a world that is full of perversions…“This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.”  Psalm 118:20

God’s Word will give you peace in a world that is full of violence, worry, anger, and fear…  “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:7

God’s Word – if you believe – produces faith, and faith in Jesus Christ overrules the devil…”because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

God’s Word is full of truth in a world that’s full of lies“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8:32

Accepting God’s Word means accepting Jesus Christ and that brings eternal salvation to you and to me!

Do you know Jesus?

I mean personally know Him, as in communicating with Him on a daily basis.  No, I don’t mean just calling on Him when the rent is due and you don’t have the money, or calling on Him because you just WANT some money, or praying that He’ll get you out of whatever trouble you’ve somehow found yourself in.

I mean having a personal relationship with Him every day.

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as YOUR personal Lord and Savior, then the first thing you must do is:

Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins and then rose up from that death on the 3rd day (the Resurrection).  (Hebrew 11:6)

Confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour before men.  (Matthew 10:32)

Repent of your sins (feel sorry for the sins you’ve committed, and have a desire to change).  (Acts 2:38)

Be baptized for the remission (forgiveness) of your sins.  (Acts 2:38)

Ask Jesus to come into your life and take over.  He will begin to change you.  And you too, will have the peace of God “… which passeth all understanding…”. 

If you remain faithful in your walk with Christ, you too, will begin to learn how to put on – and keep on – the armor of God.

No matter what may happen in this world, you need not fear because remember what Jesus said in 1 John 4:4 –“…greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

And the one that is in this world is my enemy and your enemy, satan.

Don’t let this world destroy you.  Don’t make the eternal mistake of thinking that you’re stronger, because without Jesus Christ…you’re not.

I came to the conclusion a long time ago that’s it’s good, very good, to have a friend like Jesus.

(Scripture italicized for emphasis only)

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Please Don’t

For all those who would send me long, drawn-out comments regarding my Atheist Q&A post – please don’t.

This is not an argument, and I will not debate God’s Word.

Thank you, and may God Bless You.

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The definition of atheism is someone who does not believe in, or denies the existence of God.  I often hear self proclaimed atheists say that they believe that the world came into existence purely by accident or by some big bang theory…better known as evolution.  But let me share with you a few questions to ponder…

 QUESTION:

If there is no God, how does one explain evolution providing mankind with a soul and spirit?  How does a soul evolve?

ANSWER:    “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7

QUESTION:  

Where does our conscience come from? The average person knows when they are doing something wrong.  How do you know this?  Did your parents teach you?  Who taught them? And so on, and so on.

ANSWER:  “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:…”  Genesis 3:22

QUESTION: 

How do we know how to love?  Where does that warm, good feeling in our hearts come from?

ANSWERS:  “…for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.” 1 Thessalonians 4:9

“We love him, because he first loved us.”  1 John 4:19

Common sense should tell us that a lesser thing cannot produce or evolve into something greater than itself.  In Other Words…

An apple seed can only produce another apple – you cannot plant it and produce a watermelon.           

 “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass,…and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself,…”  Genesis 1:11

Likewise…A small fish cannot reproduce with its own kind and somehow evolve into a mammal, who then reproduces with its own kind, and somehow gives birth to a human being!

“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind:…”  Genesis 1:21

 “And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.  Genesis 1:25

Which minds me…

QUESTION: 

If there is no God, and this universe came to be by accident       through the process of evolution…why aren’t apes still evolving into human beings?

There’s a reason for what some believers of evolution call the “missing link” between human-beings and mammals…it’s missing because it does not exist!

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:…” Genesis 1:26

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27

This universe, and everything living was CREATED by God Almighty.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2

And that brings me to the 5th, and final question:

Why do some who claim to be atheist often call on God – by name – in times of trouble, pain, and even death…?

* All scripture put in boldface for emphasis only.

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